What is the legal minimum age for alcohol consumption in Germany

Youth Protection Act: Alcohol - from when and what is allowed?

Which alcoholic drinks are adolescents allowed to drink and which are forbidden for them? The Youth Protection Act sets guidelines on the subject of alcohol that parents should also adhere to. The table shows what is allowed and what is not.

The sale of products containing spirits (spirits, including mixed drinks containing spirits) to children and young people under the age of 18 is prohibited. The same goes for consumption.

Other alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, sparkling wine, including mixed drinks) may not be given to children and young people under 16 years of age. This age limit drops to 14 years if young people are accompanied to a restaurant by custodians (father, mother or other guardian).

Protection of minors: At what age is alcohol allowed?

drinkunder 1414 to 1616 to 18over 18
beerforbiddenonly in the presence of a legal guardianallowedallowed
Wine / sparkling wineforbiddenonly in the presence of a legal guardianallowedallowed
Mixed drinks with wine or beerforbiddenonly in the presence of a legal guardianallowedallowed
Mixed drinks with spiritsforbiddenforbiddenforbiddenallowed
spiritsforbiddenforbiddenforbiddenallowed
Energy drinksallowedallowedallowedallowed

The law regulates the consumption of alcohol and specifies from what age and how long young people are allowed to stay in discos, arcades and restaurants. In the event of violations of the Youth Protection Act, for example when alcohol is served to young people under the age of 16, traders and organizers face fines.

There is currently no legal regulation for the consumption of energy drinks. This means that they can also be sold to children and young people in Germany. In some other countries, some discounters no longer sell the pickups to people under 16 or under 18 years of age. Organizations such as Foodwatch or the Society of European Pediatric Cardiologists advocate an age limit for the consumption of energy drinks in Germany.

At private parties, the protection of minors is a parental responsibility

Parents are also responsible for private parties. Under certain circumstances, you make yourself liable to prosecution by negligent behavior if you disregard the regulations governing the serving of alcohol to young people and the alcohol causes health damage.

Alcohol for coping with stress

Adolescents do not differ that much from adults in their motivation to drink: A study by the Federal Ministry of Health shows that adolescents drink mainly for "fun reasons", but alcohol is also said to help cope with stress and other problems.

The effect of alcohol on children

Alcohol affects children and adolescents more than adults. Among other things, the following should be observed:

  • Alcohol is a cell poison.
  • Alcohol can seriously disrupt the development of the brain and organs in children.
  • Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous for children. A dose of two grams of alcohol per pound of body weight can be fatal to a young child. For a school child, this limit is around three grams per kilogram of body weight, for adults it is twice as high.
  • The nervous system of children is much more sensitive to alcohol than that of adults. A child can become unconscious with just 0.5 per mille of alcohol in the blood.
  • Schnapps chocolates can be dangerous for children.